Bart Ehrman and “Jesus, Interrupted” with Tony Jones: Homebrewed Christianity 50

ehrmanHomebrewed Christianity celebrates its 50th episode, and there’s no better way to do it than with Tony Jones, author of The New Christians, interviewing Dr. Bart Ehrman. Dr. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and controversial author of several best-selling books, including God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important, Why We Suffer, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, and his most recent Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them).

The two didn’t get into too much detail about Bart’s latest book, since biblical contradictions aren’t new to Tony. They instead discuss Bart’s motivations for writing his books that many find so challenging to faith in the authority of Scripture. Subjects that come up in the interview are philosophical hermeneutics, objectivity, inerrancy vs. infallibility, and the merciless Stephen Colbert.

Ehrman’s recent Holy Week appearance on The Colbert Report: colbertnation.com

OK. We always say this, but this one is a must-listen.

We’re thankful to Tony for lending us this fantastic audio for a very special 50th episode. He recorded the interview for his Beliefnet blog, ‘The New Christians’ at blog.beliefnet.com/tonyjones

You can also keep up with Tony at: tonyj.net

If you would like to congratulate us on our first 50 episodes, give us a call at 678-590-BREW.

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7 comments
Ed Jones
Ed Jones

For a reconstruction of the Jesus tradition which reflects the thought of three of our top longest standing historical theologians take a look at the blog: R. Joseph Hoffmann - Blogs, Pictures and more on Word Press. This is an archive of Hoffmann essays, scroll to the esssay title: The Importance of the Historical Jesus - 9 Comments, Comments 1 and 5 is the reconstruction, the remaining Comments are related.

Ted Seeber
Ted Seeber

Inerrancy, as a part of Sola Scriptura, is the #1 cause of biblical atheism I find. I wish Bart had mentioned that the Bible is still useful even when not inerrant. But then again, I recently had a discussion on slashdot with an atheist who apparently didn't know such basic scientific facts as that giangaticism exists in homo sapiens (not sure how he missed Andre the Giant, wrestler and actor from the 1980s, or that young lady from China who is 12 feet + and still growing) or the placebo effect (that belief and faith can actually change biochemistry enough to counteract certain poisons, including serpents common to the Middle East and India, and this is a common fakr trick from India) and so he was bringing up errors that simply aren't errors. I told him to come back with either a real contradiction or something I couldn't prove from science alone, and that the Bible wasn't necessarily the one and only Word of God, and he broke off the conversation with that- apparently his atheism *required the Bible to be the Word of God*.

Pete
Pete

I was impressed that Bart is compassionate enough and realistic enough about faith issues as a non believer to want believers to have a reasonable faith even when he himself has none. A lot of ex-christians go commando Dawkins style against faith. As a guy who was raised in a Dallas Theological Seminary/inerrantist family, the idea that the bible had contradictions and problems was terrifying when I got to Baylor. But I functioned as a charismatic-evangelical who was an infallibilitist. I wish Bart had mentioned that the catholic church says the bible is "infallible in matters of salvation" or the idea that if you use the bible to seek god you will find god...of course that statement ignores the role of God's grace in salvation but you know what I mean. I am going to have to recommend this book to my fundy friends as a companion to Mclaren's New kind of christian.

Theresa Seeber
Theresa Seeber

Oh my gosh. Tony has become Will Ferrell. What was that movie, "Dear Lord Baby Jesus.........." :-) Oh, onto serious commenting. This has been really good listening for me. I have always struggled with the fact that there are obvious contradictions in the Scriptures, but everyone always says there aren't - that we just think there are. To hear them discussed in such a way that does not throw the Bible out altogether is refreshing, as that has always been the perceived threat: that if we admit the inconsistencies we have to forsake the text altogether because it is supposed to be inerrant. Thank you guys for taking the time to discuss this, and thank you Tripp and Chad for hosting it! Brew on my friends, brew on. We is enjoyin' the flava.

Ted Seeber
Ted Seeber

True enough- you can't find the whole of Christ in Scripture. Scripture's a good start, of course, but you need more than that. I'm with Pope Benedict XVI on the idea that the liturgical churches are still rational enough to reason with- and perhaps one day the Harem of Christ will once again be the Bride of Christ. There's good reason to think that King Henry VIII's ursurption of power from the Vatican, for instance, did not harm that Apostolic Authority of High Anglicans. But without that authority- I just don't see how anybody can put their faith in Sola Scriptura- the scriptures alone. Way too easy to fall into heresy that way.

Tripp Fuller
Tripp Fuller

Hey Ted. I am not Catholic but when the book arrives to me and I review I imagine you will hear me saying similar things. For example, the Trinity isn't in the Bible....the Apostolic Fathers knew that. Gregory argued from church liturgy where the mystery of God was present and practiced. “Remember your confession. Into what were you baptized? The Father? Good but Jewish still. The Son? … good but not yet perfect. The Holy Ghost? … Very good. This is perfect.” Gregory of Nazianzen

Ted Seeber
Ted Seeber

IIF one accepts the idea of Apostolic Authority (that the Apostles were granted the Sacrament of Holy Ordination under the Holy Spirit, and passed that on to those who they ordained) then of course the Holy Spirit was guiding the Synod of Hippo and the Third Council of Carthage, and if you follow those who have Apostolic Authority today, there are a lot fewer contradictions in the Bible. IIf you don't accept Apostolic Authority (that is, you're not Catholic, or for some other reason don't believe the Synod of Hippo and the Third Council of Carthage don't have Apostolic Authority in your specific sect) then you have no real reason to believe that the Bible was edited under the Holy Spirit. To me, it's that easy. I accept the authority of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, of which those councils were a part. I only believe the Bible, because I accept that authority. I have to wonder if the lack of knowledge of this topic is in part a fear on the part of Protestant Pastors to admit that the Bible was written primarily by Catholics, for Catholics, under Apostolic Authority. Oddly enough, I've heard all of this from every priest I've ever known and gone to more than four Sunday Masses from. Especially the part about the message each author was using.

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